Calculating Monster Experience

Rules Discussion

Shadow Lodge

Good afternoon/morning everyone!

I had a question pertaining to rewarding players with experience based on the adventure path or for randomly generated encounters (for example).

In the adventure path, if you say have the players (1st level) encounter Graveshells(2) Creature 1

Is this to mean, that per the core book, this would be a (level 1) encounter (based on the creature 1 rating) and that the players receive 40xp for the entire encounter? or would that be PER graveshell, totaling in 80xp, or (lastly), would the fact that there are 2 of them mean that it increases the level of the encounter to level 2, and thus award 60xp for 1st level adventurers?

My second part to the question similarly is regarding the building an encounter. if you were to add another monster as a DM, same level for example, how would that effect the xp reward?

Thank you for your time everyone!

Shadow Lodge

bumping for clarification.

I’m playing it as a 80XP encounter.

First you look at the xp of the monsters involved.

Two level 1 creatures against a level 1 party is 40+40=80 xp, or a Moderate encounter (table 10-1).

A moderate encounter gives EACH hero 80 XP. (This concept is not related to level, meaning that a moderate encounter gives each character 80 XP at level 1 and a moderate encounter gives each character 80 XP at level 20. Encounters are never of a level.)

The key piece of info that made everything fall into place is that monster XP is TO EACH ADVENTURER IN A FOUR-MAN PARTY.

So a level 1 Graveshell isn't 40 XP because it's level 1. And it isn't 40 XP full stop.

It is 40 XP to each hero assuming
1) they are the same level as the monster (=1)
2) there are four heroes


Assume for a moment you instead have five level 2 heroes facing the same two Graveshells.

Each Graveshell is now a party level - 1 monster, or 30 XP. So the pair is 60 XP.

Normally this would mean 60 XP to each hero, but since there are five heroes, this is a bit too easy to justify being called a Low threat encounter. We need to add 15 XP worth of monster to account for the fifth character - so we add a PL-3 creature, or a level -1 critter.


It only changes the encounter's "XP Budget". For four players a Low encounter should contain monsters worth 60 XP (yielding 60 XP per hero). For five players the Low encounter should instead contain monsters worth 60+15=75 XP (still yielding 60 XP per hero).


Again the understanding came to me once I grokked the following:

A monster only has a level.

You cross-reference monster level to party level.

The resulting xp figure is PER HERO IN A 4-MAN TEAM.

I do not understand this XP system, with each reading I get lost more and do not understand how difficult it is!
I have the following options:
Ignore XP and creature level, trying to understand is being annoying!
Change to milestones, but the disappointment with the system is making me forget this and skip to the next item:
Abandoning the system, in terms of encounter, there is a better thing on the market!
However, despite having spent a whole damn afternoon trying to figure it out, I decided to cool it down and ask here.
How do you calculate the damn dates?
What the hell do creatures of level 0 and -1 do besides complicate life? And how are they inserted into encounters of levels greater than 1? So I'm thinking of making all these annoying things into creatures 1, it seems to me the most sensible. But as I said, this is my last attempt to try to understand.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Someone made a handy xp calculator. It doesn't yet grab monster stats but it let's you put in the monster level and numbers so perhaps playing with that will give you some clarity.

Encounter builder

As for-1 and 0 creatures they serve the exact same purpose as 1/2 & 1/3 cr creatures. They allow low level enemies for low level parties to face.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If someone asks why they switch to the new system, I'm afraid I don't have any easy answers.

Now that I know how the system works, I can establish it does not do anything the old system didn't. It just is more complicated and hard to understand, for zero advantage.

Please note: I am not talking about the switch from absolute to relative xp, that's fine. The change to a static number each level (1000 xp) is also fine.

But the decision to base xp around a four-man party instead of the obvious and easy choice (for each adventurer) is entirely inexplicable.

I can only assume Pazio had bad luck thinking that day.

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